Laryngeal Paralysis and Barking Problems in Dogs (cont.)

Debarking and Barking Problems

Some dogs simply seem to enjoy barking. But constant shrill barking can lead to problems with neighbors and a dog being dropped off at the local shelter.

Debarking surgery removes some of the vocal chord tissue. This can be done through the mouth or through the throat. Lasers are sometimes used for this surgery. After debarking, dogs can still bark but it is a quieter, hoarse sound. If the dog develops scar tissue, she may recover the ability to bark normally. Too much scar tissue may interfere with breathing. Postoperative care is important, because any swelling in this area could cause acute breathing problems. You may need to search for a veterinarian experienced with this surgery.

Before doing debarking surgery, you should try behavior training and/or eliminate the cause of the excessive barking. Using a citronella or electronic bark collar may also work. These deliver a negative response when your dog barks, either with a spray of citronella or a mild shock.

This article is excerpted from “Dog Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook” with permission from Wiley Publishing, Inc.